Houston Astros, Washington Nationals leaving Central Florida for spring training
MLB teams headed to West Palm Beach
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals will move their spring training facilities from Central Florida, officials announced Wednesday.
The Major League Baseball teams will share a facility in West Palm Beach, the teams and Gov. Rick Scott said. The official start date was not released.
The Astros currently train in Kissimmee, and the Nationals play spring ball in Viera.
The move will leave the Atlanta Braves, who train at Disney World, and the Detroit Tigers, who practice in Lakeland, as the only MLB teams to host spring training in Central Florida.
The Nationals and Astros will remain in Florida for the next 30 years, and Florida will continue to retain its 15 spring training teams in the Grapefruit League, a news release from Scott's office said.
"Spring training has helped to bring Florida families together, create jobs in our communities, and drive tourists to our state," Scott said. "Florida is undoubtedly the best state for baseball, and we look forward to many more years of spring training attracting visitors and creating opportunities for Florida families."
In 2013, Scott worked with the Florida Legislature to create a program that provides more than $3 million annually to be used only for spring training facilities.
"This would not be possible without the city of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, state leaders and the governor working together. We're very excited to remain in Florida for spring training," said Jim Crane, Houston Astros owner.
The sports industry brings over $43 billion to Florida annually and accounts for 13.3 million visitors to the state each year, officials said.
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